Everyday Mom's Meals
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Sunday, July 14, 2019

All That & A Bag Of Chips

Many years ago, my husband had what he proclaimed to be the BEST potato chip of his life. Now, I have actually heard him say this about a couple kinds, but that's okay. In that moment, in his excitement, that's how he felt.

One of those brands/flavors he can still readily find. In fact, I ordered him a case for our 16th anniversary this year. Nothing says love like a spicy potato chip! But the other, the one I started this story with? We haven't been able to find it for years. At least not in our area. And that makes him sad. To the point that he talks about it quite a bit.

What is this magical chip you ask? It was a Steak & Worcestershire flavor, and for him it was love at first bite. For years, it has been the one he mentions any time we try a new one. The one he longs for. So, how many wife points do you think I scored when I found a way to recreate that for him, kind of?

The minute I saw a new dip by buddy Mandy over at South Your Mouth debuted, I knew I could take that idea, build on it, and recreate those flavors for him!

I couldn't wait to make it for him; and it didn't disappoint. He said it is "spot on" and could not stop eating. Woo hoo!

Need another snack for around the pool? A big bowl of this and a couple bag of chips. Done! I bet it would be super tasty with a big veggie platter too!

Making things for my boys they love gives me so much joy. But nailing something he loved and has been missing? That's just the icing on the cake, or the dip on the chip in this case!

Steak & Worcestershire Dip
16 oz. sour cream
2 1/2 TBS steak seasoning (like Montreal)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dried parsley

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Chill a few hours before serving. Serve with chips, veggies, crackers, etc.




Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gnocchi Fans


Anyone that knows us knows we are a family of pasta lovers. From mac n cheese to baked pasta casseroles, we can't get enough. I think I might have been Italian in another life.

And now I can honestly say, we are quickly becoming fanatics about pasta's little cousin gnocchi. I've mentioned before how my local Dollar Tree store has really decent packages of them, 1 pound for $1. What a deal...and you know I can't pass that up! So on those weeks when the budget might be a little tighter than normal, I like to keep those little gems in my back pocket!

This actually came to be because of another great deal when Kroger had spaghetti sauce dirt cheap. I actually bought a couple jars and then had to think "great, now what can I do with it?" Well, I had to run into DT anyway, so why not grab a couple packages of my new friend?

If you're looking for an economical, hearty, feed a hungry crowd meal, this is it! Terrific Italian flavors with soft, pillowy gnocchi are sure to please every single time!

Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole
2 lbs. gnocchi, cooked to package directions & drained
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 c. heavy cream
2 (24 oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste 
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet heat 1 1/2 jars sauce over medium heat. (Save other half jar for other use) Add cream, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Heat until bubbling and reduce heat to low. When gnocchi are cooked and drained, add to sauce and stir to combine. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Add half gnocchi mixture. Sprinkle with 2 TBS Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers once more. Sprinkle top with parsley. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving. *NOTE* This does not set up like a normal pasta bake. It will be very saucy. I do this because gnocchi can be very dense and dry. They need extra sauce! 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Port A Pit At Home

Here in northern Indiana, we can count on many things during the summer months. Lots of beautiful sweet corn to enjoy, the humidity being oppressive some days, and parking lots filled with the smell of port-a-pit chicken cookers.

I honestly don't know if port-a-pit is a thing everywhere, so I guess I should explain a little. They are portable cookers that come to your event, or many times are hired for fundraisers that make some of the best chicken I've ever had in my life. Seriously. It's drool worthy, and something our family has been crazy about for years. 

How much? Well, when Mr. E started working for his current company almost 5 years ago, the first company picnic we went to we found out the meal was provided by the best port-a-pit business around. All of us were giddy! We just about licked our styrofoam plates. 

It's so unique and amazing, it isn't something you can 100% recreate at home. After all, the cooker is key. But many years back I made this marinade, and after grilling some chicken with it, we all proclaimed "Wow, this tastes almost like port-a-pit!" The flavor was just about the closest thing we can get.

I use chicken quarters because that's what port-a-pit we buy is, but I'm sure this would be just as tasty on any other cut. 

If you are planning a big July 4th bash, give your guests something new, besides the standard barbecue! 

You have to educate me too. Do you have port-a-pit in your area? Do you love it as much as we do?

Tangy Grilled Chicken
1 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 stick butter
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Juice 2 lemons
4 Chicken Quarters, patted dry
Chicken Grill Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray

In a small sauce pan, melt butter over low heat. Add Worcestershire, onion powder and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat back to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Reserve a small dish of sauce for serving. Allow chicken to come to room temp. Spray with cooking spray. Season liberally with grill seasoning, salt and pepper on both sides. Sear chicken over high heat for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to low. Cook chicken for 45 minutes, turning every 7-10 minutes, basting with sauce with each turn. Cook until internal temp is 165. Serve with extra sauce if desired.



Sunday, June 23, 2019

BBQ Side Dish

You've planned the entire cookout. The meat is marinading, the salads are chilling and the ice cream is churning. You just need one more side dish. What could it be? 

How about something that takes the barbecue flavors we all love this time of year, and gives them to your guests in a whole new way? On. Potatoes. Wait, what?  Mind blown!!!

These happened by accident at our house...which isn't that uncommon. I had a beef roast for the grill, and red potatoes were on sale at the store. Great. I will throw some in the oven and roast them. I had a plan. Then I woke up and decided I wanted something new. The roast was just simply seasoned with steak seasoning, so I knew I could ramp up the taters' flavor.

Oh my gosh, did I hit this one out of the park! We love great barbecue, so I can't believe I never thought about doing this before, but can guarantee we will again! 

They are perfect with whatever you're grilling up this summer! From chicken, to steak to burgers, throw some of these in the oven and you're meal will go to the next level! If you're planning a big July 4th blowout..wow your guests with these!

Barbecue Roasted Potatoes
3 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. vegetable oil
4 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
Black Pepper
Dried Parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large bowl combine potatoes and oil. In a small bowl mix brown sugar and all seasonings, except pepper and parsley. Sprinkle over potatoes. Stir and mix well. Transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 until fork tender. Garnish with parsley before serving. 


Shared at Weekend Potluck

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Little Store Help

You will never see me turn down a little help from the store. I know there are plenty of people out there who want to and enjoy making every single thing from scratch; and more power to them! I just don't happen to be one of them!

If I can take something from the freeze section, jazz it up a little and turn it into something I know my boys will love, sign me up every single time!

As I've told you before, Mexican night happens a lot at our house, so I'm always looking for inspiration to keep it new and exciting.

This recipe actually has a funny story behind it that began last year when we were on our annual beach vacation. There is a Dollar General Market (think DG but bigger with a produce and meat section...seriously...so fabulous) right across the street from where we stay. While picking up a few things one day, Alex found some frozen burritos on sale for 2/$1 and wanted a few for lunch.

Something he can throw in the microwave and cook himself? Um....YES please! After all, mommy is on vacay too! Well, he loved them. So much we went back and got more, Mr. E this time too. They became a lunch staple those 2 weeks, and a big joke because mommy loves a deal!

When we got home, I was at Kroger one day...and found the SAME burritos for....wait for it...40 CENTS each! That's right, our amazing deal just got cheaper! And since then, we almost always have them in the freezer.

So when I saw this idea from my blogging buddy Cooking with K, I knew Miss Kay was reading my mind! A easy weeknight meal that starts with something my guys already love.

Needless to say, they were a huge hit and I've been told I can make them again....and soon! No problem boys...it's simple, budget friendly and gives me a little help from the store. Three things this everyday mom can't get enough of!

Smothered Burritos
8 frozen beef and bean burritos
1 (15 oz.) can chili NO beans
3 TBS chopped white onion
7 slices American cheese
1/2 c. shredded Mexican blend cheese
Pickled Jalapenos
Diced Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Lay burritos in one layer. Top with American cheese, overlapping. Add chili and spread evenly. Sprinkle with onions. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 40-45 minutes until bubbly. Garnish with diced tomatoes and jalapenos. 



Inspired by Cooking with K